Posts

How many do you need?

How many pot holders do you have? How many can you use at one time? You only have two hands. So, how many is enough? I know our society has programed us to believe that more is better, and that having a surplus on-hand is required for optimal household management. But I’d like to encourage you to challenge those thoughts, and ask yourself how many you really need. What is a manageable amount for you?

Do you own stagnant things?

Stagnant means lifeless, inactive. Do you have stagnant things in your home? Do you have things that have outlived their usefulness? I think we all do. The longer we live in our spaces the more comfortable we get with our surroundings. It becomes easy to ignore papers that don’t require action, gadgets we tried once, and random things that have become part of our decor.  After a while we don’t see these things any longer. They morph into the background of our homes.

After attending a conference session on Feng Shui I decided to get rid of stagnant things in my home. I’ll list 10 stagnant things I removed my home to help you get motivated to do the same.

  1. An old cardboard display that I had used for a few business presentation more than 5 years ago was recycled with my weekly town recycle.
  2. An open, partially used bottle of carbon, that is used in fish tank filters, was given away by listing it on FreeCycle.
  3. A bag of craft supplies that I hadn’t used in more than 5 years was passed along to other creative people I know.
  4. Unused food in my pantry was donated to my local food bank and Operation Shoebox.
  5. Gardening gloves that I wore only once because they turned my hands orange were tossed.
  6. Our ice maker broke 2 years ago. So I finally donated (to Savers) the scoop we had used for that purpose, but hadn’t used since.
  7. Old makeup was tossed. I haven’t worn make up in years.
  8. A soup ladle that came with a soup delivery when I was sick, but never used, was donated to Savers.
  9. Two spare, never been used, hand-me-down light timers were donated to Habitat for Humanities ReStore.
  10. An open container of Armor All wipes that were given to me a year ago, finally got used up.

These 10 stagnant things may not seem like much, but they have a way of piling up and cluttering our homes. I encourage you to take a good look at your home and reevaluate what’s in your space. If you find stagnant things, get rid of them. You’ll improve the energy of your home (Feng Shui) which will have a positive impact on you.

©June 2021  Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer®  All Rights Reserved

paper shopping bags

Gift Giving Questions

Organizing tipWhen buying gifts there are 3 simple questions you can ask to help determine how the gift will be received.

  1. Will this gift we a treasure or burden for the recipient?
  2. How practical and useful is this gift?
  3. Is this gift going to be difficult to use, assemble, or store?

Find some organizer friendly gift ideas in my past blog.

scary pumpkin

Organizing Tricks and Treats

In the spirit of October and Halloween I thought it would be fun to share some organizing tricks and treats. Are you wondering what I mean by that? It means I’ll be sharing some organizing tricks I personally use to help me stay organized on a daily basis, and I’ll be sharing the treats (benefits) I receive from staying organized. Here goes.

Tricks:

  • Have a “do it now” attitude. I don’t let things pile up and get out of control. I keep on top of clutter and mess. I do this by reclaiming order often. When I feel the need to reduce and de-clutter I tackle it quickly and thoroughly. It’s also crucial to have a place for things. If there is no designated spot to put things there is no way to establish and maintain order.
  • Look for simple solutions. I create as much order as I’m willing to maintain. For example I don’t color code* my clothes. To me that’s too much fuss. However, I group my clothing into categories and store them together. For example I hang all my tops together in this order, sleeveless, short sleeved,  3/4 length sleeves, and long sleeved tops.
  • Reduce down to manageable amounts. I constantly evaluate the usefulness of my belongings. We all have a tendency to keep things and come up with excuses for doing so, but I challenge myself to weed out the unused, unwanted, unneeded as often as I can.
  • Take time to plan. Have you heard the phrase, those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Planning takes practice and discipline, but I work at it everyday. I plan daily tasks, my work week, my outfits, meals, shopping lists, exercise, and most importantly time for myself. This helps me get things done and prevents me from over-scheduling myself.

Treats:

  • Life without clutter. Don’t get me wrong, I have my piles and messes just like everyone else. However, I keep them to a manageable amount.
  • Less stress in my life because I’m organized. I can find what I want when I need it. Isn’t this what organizing is all about?
  • Ready for guests with just 15 minutes notice. When you have a home for things and don’t let the clutter get our of control it’s easy to pick up quickly.
  • An environment that is calm and peaceful.

*Color coding works great for some people, especially kids, but it’s one more additional step that I’m not willing to do.

©October 2020  Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer®   All rights reserved.

 

consistent action

Experiment with New Habits

Organizing tipSet up a new habit as an experiment. This allows you to view the process as fun rather than a chore. New habits with a focus on maintaining order are always helpful. Here are two examples of experiments you can try.

  1. Experiment with collecting the mail daily and seeing how much you can immediately recycle without opening. Set a goal for yourself to recycle at least 10 pieces of mail a week. Keep a tally sheet on the fridge and get the whole family involved. Reward yourself with a family bonfire at the end of the month.
  2. Experiment with tossing one item a day from your junk drawer (or closet, dresser, medicine cabinet, or toiletries stash). Take a before photo. Do this for one month and take an after photo. How does it look? How much more functional is the drawer? How do you feel about your tossed items? Reward yourself with something fun and please share your before and after photos with me.